There are a variety of herbs which help combat sleep problems. Naturopath Oliver Bassler tells us which herbs are good sleep remedies and how to use them correctly.
The warmth of the milk does actually have an effect on the body and makes you tired. Milk also contains tryptophan, which affects sleep. If you look at it that way, it’s actually true that milk makes you sleepy. The honey also stimulates the production of tryptophan, which is why they can be taken together. But they can also be consumed separately, of course. Lots of people used to drink this concoction as children and that’s why a glass of milk with honey can also conjure comforting memories from our childhood.
I’d recommend lavender, lemon balm and valerian. Brew them into a tea, take them as a tincture or, better still, use lavender or lemon balm as an essential oil. But the oil should be completely pure and not synthetic.
Unfortunately, there’s no natural sleep remedy that works straight away. In any case, I recommend you don’t stay lying in bed in these situations. You should get up. Read a book, listen to music, massage lavender oil into your skin. This can help make you start to think about other things and make you tired again.
Of course, you can use the herbs I mentioned before even if you don’t have any problem sleeping. But it’s more about the ritual itself in this case. Like drinking a tea before you go to bed every night, for example. Massage an oil that promotes sleep into your feet, back or hands. As I said before, it’s the ritual and the rhythm that play an important role here.
Here, we’re not talking about side effects so much as reactions. That means that not every remedy triggers the same reaction in everyone. For example, oats help people who find it difficult to switch off and are generally nervous. You can try herbs in tea and see what effects they have. For lingering sleep problems, by which I mean cases that last longer than two weeks, I recommend going to see a professional if herbs are not having the desired effect. A naturopath can help you find out which herbs work best for you.
Valerian is an ideal herb to combine with others. I wouldn’t go mad and just mix things at random. That’s not recommended.
I would generally give herbs to children as a tea. There’s no problem with that at all. Other than that, it can also help children to develop a bedtime ritual such as massaging their feet with an oil. As a general rule, it’s very important to find out why children are having trouble sleeping and see whether there may be any organic causes.
Pregnant women can also take these kinds of herbs that help with sleep without worrying. Sleep problems can be caused by hormonal changes, which, as we know, can happen during pregnancy. But here, you need to remember that, if you have trouble sleeping over a long period, consult your gynaecologist.
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